U.S. stock markets plunged as the trading day began, with many wondering how long the massive selloff would last.
Here are five things to know about the selloff and what it could mean for you and your portfolio.
1. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 1,000 points in early trading, but it quickly rebounded. About an hour after trading began, it came back - off only about 300 points. As for the other indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 87 points, or 4.5 percent to 1,882. The NASDAQ composite fell 247 points, or 5.1 percent, to 4,465 points, The Associated Press reported.
2. What caused the selloff? Growing concerns about a slowdown in China on Friday rippled through markets worldwide. It was the biggest drop in nearly four years. "Investors are wondering if growth isn't coming from the U.S. or China, where is it going to come from?" Tim Courtney, chief investment officer of Excenial Wealth Advisors, told the AP.
3. What was affected? The cost of oil plunged to less than $40 a barrel for the first time since the financial crisis as investors sold off oil companies. Other big names in tech were also selling like Netflix and Apple. Government bonds rallied.
4. What should you do? Don't panic and use the selloff to maximize your tax losses, using it to your advantage, Reuters suggested. Use the losses today by selling below what you bought your shares for and write off the loss. The example Reuters used: You bought 100 shares of Apple for $13,200 on July 20. Let's say it closed at a value of $10,500. Sell and claim the $2,700 loss. You will save at least $560 in taxes.
5. Donald Trump is using the selloff to his political advantage. The businessman, turned candidate for president, tweeted that the country needs to get smart about finances moments after the 1,000+ point fall.
The New York Times reported that Trump is claiming that the United States' poor planning has allowed China and Asia to dictate the global financial agenda.
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